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Bobokie9999

Problems with search and special characters

Idea

I am not happy with search.  It is a very powerful tool but loses a lot when the following are treated equally.

 

☑test ... same results as test or ... #test.....

 

I've found this to be true on the following platforms: desktop, web, iPad.

 

This is true of almost all extended characters or punctuation.  I use tags extensively but there are times I want to tag an item without using a tag (I don't want 1000's of tags to organize or sort).  I tried using various characters but Evernote search ignores them.  So I cannot set up some special collection like ☑photography.  I can do this in OneNote.  In Evernote, if I search on ☑photography, I get everything with photography versus a few that I want to see.

 

Yes, I could use tags but I already have a tag system set up to leverage GTD and some general reference categories.  I effectively am looking for a separate sub-tag or category system.  This will keep me from being overwhelmed in tags.

 

The more I use Evernote the more I find this a major problem.  Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find something in thousands of notes that you know is there, but you have to look at 100's instead of maybe 10 or 12.

 

Any suggestions?  Is there a list of special characters I could use (I only need maybe 3-6)? Is this something that is planned to be changed in future releases?

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I've read this and have used several of the identified searches. I may have missed it but I didn't see any discussion on special characters or how to handle.

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Thank you csihilling --

 

This lead me to
http://discussion.ev...9921#entry59921

 

from EngBerg (Evernote Employee)

This is actually intentional. We treat a "word" as any contiguous sequence of:
* letters (as defined by Unicode)
* numbers
* the underscore character

This allows you to use the underscore to make special "magic keywords" like "_foo" that you may want to search for again later.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

I assume that means literally letters -- all the special characters I've tried are from unicode.  I haven't tried any "non-english" letters -- hopefully I might be able to make a workaround that way.  Using only underscore won't work for me (I need a few more characters).  I have already created some special searches like "name_vacation_PTO_2015" for tracking vacations.

 

And SUCCESS!!!!  Evernote does recognize accented letters like ü, é, etc.  Since I'm not writing in any of those languages I'll be able to create the searches I wanted.  I still wish EN would go back to recognizing more of utf-8 characters.  I like using ♦ instead of ü.  ☺

 

 

Thank you Metrodon and csihilling, your responses they helped me solve my problem.  Now I have one less reason to look at changing over to OneNote.

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Evernote needs to reconsider this extreme deviation from "search" and "find" (cmd-F) on the Mac.  Uniformity of tools common to many apps is essential to improve learning curves, not to mention software capability.  Search and Find need to recognize every printable character, though it would be acceptable, from my point of view, to reserve a few for special Evernote functionality.  I want to be able to search for an entire phrase.  I want to search for strings that include almost any special character.

That said, I love the search options that limit the range and substance of searches.  But please, Evernote, (perhaps with EngBerg as ambassador), "Intentional" does not mean "right".

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It looks like everybody's given up on this design flaw.

 

Here's another simple requirement: Find all the notes with email involving a particular domain, e.g "@microsoft.com". Do the EN geniuses have a suggestion re how to do that?

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Search is why we use Evernote. Evernote only becomes valuable once you have collected enough notes to need searching. The lack of differentiation of upper and lower case, and simple special characters such as @, #, %, &, and * is a serious limitation. Please, please consider correcting this. 

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2 hours ago, nixfan said:

So if I want to search for the specific string "c++", is there a way to do that?

You can do a Edit > Find > Find within Note, but NOT a Search across notes.

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Thanks JMichaelTX, I emailed into support to be sure and they confirmed what you said.

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I agree guymanstuff, I have faith they will fix this. Heck, all you have to do is go out and buy a search engine package, or license it. They raised our annual fee enough to do that. They sell themselves on being a place to store all you stuff and yet fail on retrieval. I still embed special characters in my text in hopes that someday I can search on them like tags. But still I want to be able to write without having to make up underscore phrases. Tell me, how can I look up the day I installed the AC's last year? "AC" and "ac" is everywhere. But "AC's" is unique. 

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Me too.  I just wanted to search for a specific percentage: "5%" but the % was ignored. 

Please Evernote Santa, can we have special character search terms for Xmas? :)

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At least I understand now what is happening... I am trying to set up a simple followup system to be used while taking meeting notes:

@@ is create an action

## is a delegated action

etc...

I leverage search heavily in Outlook rather than using a folder structure.  That same search capability is what makes me use Evernote over something like OneNote (which is integrated heavily into my Office 365).  Not recognizing special characters in search is a massive limitation.  I have to imagine that the EN team has done this intentionally, although I can hope that they will change their minds.

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